With Red Harvest feeling like it was is still somewhat hot off the press, to see the Tome of Champions 2021 land so soon afterwards initially put me on edge. Was this book going to be crammed full of content that feels it should have been included in Red Harvest? Is this book a shallow break-away? Fortunately, the content in this book is extensive and bountiful enough that it’s a genuinely fantastic purchase for anyone remotely interested in Warcry. Let’s have a gander as to why…
One of the first things you’ll find in the book is updated point costs across all existing warbands/factions. This alone makes the book worth a purchase for anyone who plays Warcry regularly. I don’t think these numbers are so readily available elsewhere, so there’s the first big boon of the book. There’s also updated information for Campaign rules including Glory point acquisition and reinforcements.
Quest of the Best
Next up in the book are a series of new quests. First, as seen via the Warhammer Community sire, are rules for running siege games. These sound like tremendous fun and allow you to, for once in Warcry, feel like your skirmish battles are a small part of a larger picture. I’m a huge fan of this as it means I can still enjoy my smaller skirmish games and tie them into a larger, more immediate narrative.
The rules for these are categorised into Open Play which means that, whilst these missions may not always be balanced, it still offers to frantic and furious good fun that Warcry is beloved for. You can enjoy your beer and pretzels game as the walls of a fortress crumble down around you. Between this and the included rules for fielding a monster and the reliance of plenty of terrain (something Warcry has always done well), I can see me running a handful of siege battles as the climax of a campaign.
More new quests are to follow in the Tome of Champions 2021. For Narrative players, there are now branching quests for each of the Grand Alliances across Age of Sigmar. We covered branching quests in the review for Red Harvest. To have these quests especially for each Grand Alliance will help these missions to feel cohesive with your warbands outside of the Warcry-specific Chaos warbands themselves.
As an example, the Death quest has your Death warband look to aid Mortarch Katakros establish a foothold within the Eightpoints. Finishing your first Convergence quest will have you decide from a choice of locations to begin preparing an encampment. One such option is the Blood Lake and from there you can either harvest the bones of nearby slain beasts, or attempt to utilise the tainted, arcane gore of the lake itself for the will of Katakros. It’s all very thematic and helps to tie missions together whilst giving your warband a sense of purpose.
Out of the Eightpoints
There are also Fated Quests, as were brought in via Warcry: Catacombs. The Fated Quests within the Tome of Champions 2021 are specific to each Grand Alliance. Whilst these don’t have the enticing replayability like the branching quests do, these work nicely to ground your non-Warcry warbands into the setting and, probably more importantly, the fights.
However, one little curveball included in Tome of Champions 2021 comes in the form of new Narrative Campaigns. These campaigns take place across the Mortal Realms depicting conflicts from major events throughout the Age of Sigmar. These include the purging of Anvilgard where the Daughters of Khaine brutally turn on their allies of Order. There’s event a change for your party to trudge through Cursed City’s Ulfenkarn, looking for rumoured treasure and glory.
Then we come to updated rules for Matched Play, a new Matched Play campaign and yet more guidance on how to run tournaments including missions and how the event can be structured. With this and everything else up to now, anyone with an even minute interest in Warcry would surely gain a positive in owning this book. It’s so jam-packed with content for any kind of player that I struggle to think of a reason why you wouldn’t consider it.
Quite possibly the biggest offering from the Tome of Champions 2021 is the added rules for nearly all Warhammer Underworlds warbands to be fielded in Warcry. This is one of the best decisions they could have made for Warycry. It’s a game system that doesn’t seem to be struggling, and now has managed to swell the amount of fieldable models by a substantial amount. Not just that, but introducing Underworlds players to Warcry feels like a natural move. Underworlds players are likely more keen to jump into a skirmish wargame rather than anything else more involved/time-expensive.
The runemarks for each warband are all explained and tie into the runemarks for their relevant Grand Alliance. Each warband also comes with abilities to be used in-game, too. Whilst most warbands can’t compose an entire warband alone, they make for superb reinforcements for your existing warband.
I’m already excited to have the Wurmspat support my Nurgle warband, as now they’ll have some additional magic support in Fecula. Games Workshop allowing us to utilise models/kits across multiple game systems only works out positive for us, the players. Consider this with the fact that Soulblight Gravelords, Lumineth Realmlords, Krulebyz and Thunderstrike Stormcast now have full Warcry rules. A sensational amount of models have effectively been added to Warcry and will only help to keep the system alive and kicking.
A Champion Tome Indeed
The Tome of Champions 2021 is not just a must-have for those who play Warcry competitively or casually, but also for those who are looking to dip their toe into Warcry for the first time. Games Workshop have single-handedly updated nearly every element of the game in one fell swoop. I’d wish other systems got this level of quality supplement. Until they do, I suspect that Warcry may now be my main system of play for some time to come. Sure, I’ve commented previously on the overabundance of books for some systems. However, the Tome of Champions 2021 simply oozes value and is nothing beyond essential for Warcry.
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Note – Games Workshop supplied us with a copy of the Eldritch Omens for this review content.